With the Olympics just over a year away, the World Triathlon Championship Series (WTCS) racing is heating up as athletes from around the world look to earn valuable qualifying points for the Games in Paris. This weekend many of the best draft-legal racers in the world will be in Montreal, competing in a Sprint race on Saturday, with many doubling up over the weekend as they compete in a Mixed Relay on Sunday.
The spectacular race venue is set in Old Montreal, featuring a 750 m swim at the port followed by 20 km bike that includes six 3.6 km laps, followed by a 5 km run.
The race will be streamed LIVE and on demand on TriathlonLIVE.tv, with the women starting at 11:30 AM local time and the men heading off at 1:30 PM.
Race #1 belongs to WTCS series leader Taylor Spivey, who is still in the hunt for her first WTCS victory. This year she’s taken bronze medals at the WTCS races in Abu Dhabi and Cagliari, along with a fourth in Yokohama. Unfortunately for Spivey, each of the winners of the three previous WTCS races is in the field – Great Britain’s Beth Potter (Abu Dhabi), Sophie Coldwell (Yokohama) and Georgia Taylor-Brown (Cagliari). And those three are hardly the only one’s likely to contend for podium spots. Spivey’s own countrywomen – Taylor Knibb, Summer Rappaport, Kirsten Kasper and Erika Ackerlund are all desperately trying to put themselves in the qualifying picture for the US team for Paris next year.
Knibb is enjoying a big week of racing – on Thursday she took fourth at the US National Time Trial Championships.
The list of other possible medal contenders is long, but it’s not hard to imagine that France’s Leonie Periault, Luxembourg’s Jeanne Lehair, Brazil’s Vittoria Lopes and Luisa Baptista, Mexico’s Rosa Maria Tapia Vidal, Australia’s Natalie Van Coeverden nd Germany’s Laura Lindemann and Lena Meissner could all be in the mix tomorrow.
Canadians in the field include Dominika Jamnicky and Emy Legault. Amelie Kretz is nursing a bad back, so will be unable to compete at her hometown race.
You can see the women’s start list here.
Mislawchuk in form
While Portugal’s Vasco Vilaca will wear race #1 thanks to his runner-up finish in Abu Dhabi and third-place finish in Cagliari, he’s going to have his work cut out to hold off the insanely stacked field of men looking for the win, or at least a podium finish.
The race actually could set up well for Canada’s Tyler Mislawchuk, who is fresh off a runner-up finish in Huatulco last weekend. The field doesn’t include the two biggest names in men’s draft-legal racing right now – Alex Yee and Hayden Wilde – which will change the race dynamics. Those two have routinely separated themselves from the rest of the field during the run. Without them in the field, it’s much more likely that we’ll see a group together later into the run, which would be perfect for the Canadian, especially with the crowd cheering him on.
So, with that in mind, look for speedy runners like Australian Matthew Hauser, Belgium’s Jelle Greens and Marten van Riel, Great Britain’s Jonathan Brownlee, Brazil’s Manoel Messias and Morocco’s Jawad Abdelmoula up at the front with Mislawchuk.
With all the running firepower in the race, the Norwegian duo of Blummenfelt and Ironman world champ Gustav Iden will likely try to tear things up on the bike. They’ll likely get some help from the always aggressive-racing Jonas Schomburg, who routinely blasts away from the rest of the field.
Other Canadians in the field include Charles Paquet and Martin Sobey.
With all the big names set to line up for tomorrow’s race, the bottom line is we’re in for an exciting day of racing – one that will be well worth tuning into!
You can see the men’s start list here.